March 4, 2020
Written by Jamie Loh
This week, I got to have a conversation with a new male client named Clive.
As a volunteer at Arcare Sanctuary Manors, it is a great privilege to assist in meeting new faces and getting to know them a little more each time I visit, as coming into aged care can be a bit daunting for some new clients.
Clive has been a very active man through his years and has travelled the world for his career and for pleasure.
He was avid golfer, sailed yachts and enjoyed all that life offered him.
He now suffers from ill health and was very positive about calling Arcare Sanctuary Manors his new home.
His wife Gwen lives close by and often visits, while also calling every day so they can connect with each other’s lives.
Clive is indeed a true gentleman, as he cares for other residents and is very courteous to staff and to the volunteers.
Clive has beautiful artworks on his wall, courtesy of his wife Gwen
And he also has another gorgeous photo that adorns his wall – a photo of his beloved German Schnauzer dog named Mozart.
Mozart is not an ordinary dog Clive tells me as he gushed about how intelligent Mozart is.
It was not long into my conversation that I discovered Clive is also a very intelligent man.
Clive was brought up in Sydney’s eastern suburb of Woollahra and lived in a particularly well-known house of history which was built by the original convicts of Australia.
The house was indeed very grandiose, Clive shares.
Clive and his brother had a very good education and following school, Clive headed to Darwin for his first real job with Qantas as a traffic officer where he got a good grounding on responsibility.
Following this, there were many stints overseas beginning with a position in London as a shipping merchant where he was organising charters of various sized cargo all around the world.
He says that for a long period of time, the company only employed men.
I asked Clive to recommend a few travel experiences that he thoroughly enjoyed and he shared with me that I must visit Norway as it is most spectacular.
He excitedly relays all the most beautiful scenic parts of that trip taken aboard a cruise ship with his wife Gwen.
He also tells me about a great trip he did all around Australia, caravanning all the way and that he loved exploring our great country.
Then Clive leaned back for a moment and said, ‘I also drove a Morris Minor across Europe as a young bloke and that was a whole lot of fun.’
My mind ran rampant with how this must have been for a young bloke enjoying all the fun things Europe offered in those days.
When I asked about life and any challenges he had to navigate in life, he sheepishly told me about a time he sailed his 36-foot schooner yacht named Sandpiper from Coffs Harbour to Gladstone.
Just before going into Gladstone, he hit bad weather; winds more than 120 kilometres per hour, huge waves were descending towards them, rolling his solid steel sloop sideways and skippering the vessel through such intensity for 15 hours.
It was totally exhausting and extremely scary.
His wife and another couple were sailing with him and all were very relieved when the storm had passed.
He says it was the worst 15 hours ever spent, but they came out alive and he added, ‘It is by the Grace of God that we all survived.’
I also asked Clive for some pearls of wisdom, for those who are finding life a bit tough.
He made intense eye contact with me and said, ‘Look in the mirror and tell yourself, you are lucky to be alive.’
Visiting our clients and getting to know them is indeed a privilege.
Many have had lives well lived, with many stories to be told and shared.
And of course, many new friendships to make.
Jamie Loh is Arcare's Community Marketing Officer for Queensland. Jamie joined the Arcare team in mid 2019, stepping straight into her responsibilities which include communications with the broader community, community engagement and internal communications responsibilities. Jamie is a firm advocate for consistent communications and engaging ideas to help bridge the gap between those living in aged care residences and the wider communities. Jamie utilises a diverse array of strategies to help improve messaging and boost brand awareness and is always advocating for new methods of communicating in different strategies and mediums. After graduating from Brisbane State High School in 2014, Jamie attended the University of Queensland where she earned a Bachelor's Degree in Communications (Public Relations) and Arts (Japanese). During her time at the University of Queensland, Jamie worked with Brisbane's top Public Relations firms and participated in an intensive language program in Tokyo, Japan.